The pavilion is designed, as a piece of Copenhagenâ€™s bicycle track, tied as a knot. 1500 city bikes located at the roof scape, offer our Chinese hosts a chance to experience the Danish urban way. Thus, when you arrive to Expo, you visit Denmark, get a bike and explore the rest of the world!
- Bjarke Ingels
An AMNP favorite, the Bjarke Ingels Group [BIG] has been chosen as the winner of a design competition for the Danish Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai. Designed in collaboration with 2+! and Arup, the Danish Pavilion is described as “a loop, a velodrome, and an interactive fairytale”.
In response to the theme of the expo – “Better City – Better Life” – the pavilion will celebrate various aspects of Danish culture, with an emphasis on the environment. The structure itself is a velodrome, housing bicycles that will be available for public use – both encouraging a ‘green’ alternative to driving, while promoting a popular aspect of Danish culture.
The Danish pavilion should not only exhibit the Danish virtues. Through interaction, the visitors are able to actually experience some of Copenhagenâ€™s best attractions â€“ the city bike, the harbor bath, the nature playground and an ecological picnic.
- Niels Lund Petersen, associate @ BIG
The pavilion will also contain the exhibition “Wellfairytales” in a linear sequence, depicting [I believe] various Danish fairy tales, including that of the ‘Little Mermaid‘. Additionally, the mermaid herself will be transported to Shangahi for the expo – along with a large tank of water from a Danish harbor, in which visitors can take a quick dip. As a means to further encourage international exchange, 3 different Chinese artists will exhibit work in Denmark in place of the Mermaid while she’s away.
The purpose of moving The Little Mermaid is to show that open-mindedness doesnâ€™t necessarily cause you to lose origin or culture. Typically, national symbols are static â€“ a fortress or a tower which is unshakable. Lately, Denmarkâ€™s image as a tolerant and open-minded country has been at stake in the global media-scape. The perception of a nation, with a national symbol so dynamic that it can be moved to China for 6 months is a great way of showing that Denmark is still open-minded and liberal towards the rest of the world.
…speaking of sustainability, it is considerably more resource efficient moving The Little Mermaid to China, than moving 1.3 billion Chinese to Copenhagen.
“Both Shanghai and Copenhagen are harbor cities. But in Denmark the polluted harbor activities have been replaced by harbor parks and cultural institutions, and the water is so pure that you can swim in it. In the heart of the pavilion you find the Mermaid pool, which is filled with sea water from Copenhagenâ€™s harbor , brought to Shanghai on a tanker. The Chinese guest can swim in the pool, and not only hear about clean water, but feel and taste it. The sculptor Edvard Eriksenâ€™s original Mermaid, will visit China, as a specific example of the pavilion offering a real experience of Danish urban life.”
Additionally, I’m fairly certain that the pattern spiraling around the pavilion forms the Copenhagen skyline – which will look pretty siiick when lit-up at night.
::All images, info and quotes courtesy of BIG. AMNP thanks to Jennifer at BIG for the press release::
.:More info + images here -> via BIG